Survival

All I know of him is his baleful round face, his skin on mine, the power in his bulky brown body and his repeated efforts to drown me. Tina has dragged me to this wading pool every day since Mom left me with the Valentines – a Projects family recently relocated to North Minneapolis. Why…

The Scarab

One night in Portland OR, (I was about 3 or 4 – so, like roughly 1962-63) as Mom was closing up the bookstore to head home, a big storm blew through, knocking down trees and blowing in windows. Just as she’s locking the door, this guy shows up. He had rolled into town a few…

Telling Catherine

Her expression slid into a well of sorrow as I told her what I was doing in New York. This was a few weeks before the Harem was busted. I had gone back to Minneapolis for a visit, and she stopped over to say hi. Catherine and I were sitting on a twin bed, facing…

Types of Story

There are lines we never willingly cross, but almost for that reason, we are fascinated by what lies on the other side. We understand that there are things we can never know secondhand, experiences we wish we could learn from without having to live through them personally. I, for one, tend toward darkness, encounters that…

Storyteller

I was born a story, born of story, born to story. My legend precedes my being and will succeed me. Invoked only by those aspects of reality that contain the potential for legend, I am indifferent to that which evokes no story, which has no larger meaning. A small, unimportant person embodying the epic of…

Prologue I

There is no real conversation without vulnerability. David Whyte I hate these things. It’s stuporously early on a bright, frigid January Saturday morning, and I’m not ready for this. Oblivious of the implications, Jill has put the question I’ve been struggling with for over five years now into a little class exercise – the cheap,…